Sand Mining

After water, sand is the most widely used natural resource.

Sand is mined, smuggled, and stolen, and the impacts of this have far-reaching socio-political, economic and environmental implications, accelerating coastal erosion, and destroying ecosystems that are relied upon by coastal communities for their very existence.

October 20, 2022

Satellite view of the Olifants River Estuary, South Africa (image via Google Earth: Maxar Technologies AfriCIS(Pty) Ltd CNES / Airbus Data SIO, NOAA; U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO Terrametrics).

Surfers, miners fight over South Africa’s white beaches – PHYS.ORG

Diamonds, zircon and other minerals have long been extracted in the sandy coastline near the Olifants river, which flows into the Atlantic about 300 kilometres (180 miles) north of Cape Town.

But plans to expand the mining have angered surfers, animal lovers and residents in this remote, sparsely populated region—and they are pushing back with lawsuits and petitions.

Photo: Satellite view of Olifants River Estuary, South Africa (image via Google Earth: Maxar Technologies AfriCIS(Pty) Ltd CNES / Airbus Data SIO, NOAA; U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO Terrametrics).

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More on Sand Mining . . .

Mekong River to Cu Lao Gieng (January) Island (by Ted Mcgrath CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Flickr)

Mining the Mekong: Land and livelihoods lost to Cambodia’s thirst for sand – MONGABAY

“We would argue that sand mining is having as big, if not a bigger impact on the delta and Cambodian reaches. It’s been shown to be the biggest driver of saline intrusion in the delta, and resulting in enhanced bank erosion more so than hydropower,”

– Chris Hackney (University of Newcastle), Julian Leyland and Steve Darby (University of Southampton)

Coastal Sand Mining Awareness Campaign poster created by Awaaz Foundation and BNHS for the UN Convention on Biodiversity Conference in Hyderabad, India 2012 (uploaded by Sumaira Abdulali, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia)

Why beach sand mining is so dangerous – Times of India

Beach sand mining has been illegal since 1991 when the Coastal Regulation Zone Rules were first notified thirty years ago. Although illegal mining on beaches has continued nevertheless, the scale has been comparatively lesser than in rivers, where it has devasted entire swathes of land and water. Major Indian rivers like the Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari and Kaveri face existential threat…

Illegal sand mining eroding Morocco’s coastline and tourism

Tourism is essential to Morocco’s economy, and its beautiful beaches are a vital part of the attraction for visitors. In an ironic Catch-22 situation, however, meeting the demands of this industry is indirectly destroying the very coastline that tourists are coming to enjoy.

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